The landlord’s life isn’t easy. Aside from collecting rent, they have to handle repair requests, disputes, emergencies, and more. So, when something that makes their lives a lot easier comes along, they’ll welcome it with open arms.
This article will take a look at some of the tools and technologies that landlords are using to successfully manage their rental properties. And who knows? Maybe you’ll end up adopting these technologies, too!
Why do landlords need to adopt technology?
Tenants want technology. It’s as simple as that. Technology has transformed how we live, from the way we order food to pay our bills. Hence, it makes sense that tenants would want the same convenience and accessibility. In fact, a report by McKinsey & Company revealed that digital solutions are essential in meeting the modern demands of tenants while strengthening their loyalty.
Technology also makes the landlord’s life a lot easier. Considering that 80 percent of rental properties in the U.S. are owned by part-time landlords, digital assets allow them to do everything for half the hassle. It makes them more efficient and gives them time to do the things that matter.
What technologies are landlords are using?
Cutting-edge tools are making the life of a landlord more manageable. Here are some of the innovations that South Florida property investors are using:
#1 Smart security systems
Property owners are required to ensure that their rental property is safe. If you own a multi-family property such as a condominium, you must make sure that unwelcome guests won’t be able to enter the building. And what better way to do that than by using smart home systems?
Smart home systems such as biometric or facial recognition systems make sure that common areas (e.g. lobbies, mailrooms, etc.) are accessed by residents only. Similarly, replacing each unit’s standard doorknob with a smart security lock helps tenants feel more secure.
Additionally, smart security cameras let you stream surveillance footage to your phone. This can increase the security throughout the entire building or condominium.
#2 Smart smoke and carbon dioxide detectors
Rental properties are required to have at least one smoke alarm and carbon dioxide detector. However, there is a slight problem — the tenants aren’t there at all times. Hence, they won’t be alerted when something is wrong.
Smart detectors send the property owner real-time notifications in the event that there’s a smoke or carbon dioxide detection in the rental unit. That way, they can alert their tenants immediately and call the fire department in case of emergencies.
#3 Smart thermostats
If your tenant’s energy bills are included in their rent, you may want to install smart thermostats in the rental property. Smart thermostats save you money by automatically bumping the temperature up or down during the day.
Your tenants will also be able to control the temperature from their smartphones — even when they’re away. They can also set “schedules”, such as turning the air conditioner off from 9 AM to 5 PM. Not only will it lower their energy bills, but it will also make the home more energy-efficient. This is useful if you’re planning on selling your property at a certain point in time.
#4 Online rent collection
Collecting rent is time-consuming. You send the invoice, wait for the check, and then deposit it at the bank. Your tenants are already paying for their monthly subscriptions online, so why not with their rent, as well?
By offering online rent payments, your tenants will be thankful for the convenience. You can set up automatic reminders to alert your tenants that their rent is almost due. You can also offer multiple payment methods such as credit card or debit card.
Online rent collection also lets you record your tenants’ transactions. That way, you can keep track of who’s paying on time. You can even use it alongside bookkeeping tools to save you even more time.
#5 Online maintenance requests
What does your tenant have to do if they want to report, say, a leaking pipe? Do they have to contact you directly? How long does it take you to respond to their request? If it’s taking you more than a day to address their issue, it’s time to rely on technology.
Tenants want issues to be fixed swiftly. With repair request management tools, they can inform you in real-time and include pictures and videos of the problem. This offers you better context, allowing you or your property managers to hire the right person for the job.
It also provides you with a database of receipts that you can use for rental property tax deductions.
#6 Contactless showings
COVID-19 has forced real estate professionals to think outside of the box. With contactless showings, you can show people around the property without being physically present. It works by setting up a special code for each prospective tenant. They simply need to use this code to access the property, and arrange a video call with you while they’re there.
It’s worth mentioning that you must be present if tenants are currently occupying the property. But if you have vacancies, contactless showings are time-savers.
#7 Digital signatures
You no longer have to arrange a meeting with tenants to sign the lease agreement. By leveraging technology, you can sign documents digitally. Simply email the lease agreement to the tenant. After they review it, they will send it back to you, and then it will be your turn to sign the document electronically.
Electronic signature collection is especially useful if you’re managing many properties. It reduces the amount of time that you spend on meeting tenants in person. If you’re managing properties in multiple locations, this translates to thousands of dollars in savings!
There are many technologies that landlords can adapt. Cutting-edge tools, software, and resources are packed with features that make tasks such as collecting rent, arranging showings, etc. much easier.
But the easiest way to ease your responsibilities is by hiring a property management firm. At Luxury Property Care, we use our own technology called AppFolio to help our clients run a successful rental business. It streamlines our services so that your tenants experience the utmost convenience.